The national rugby team, Likatola, host their Swazi counterparts on 22 February in a must-win match.
The tie, scheduled for Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena, has serious implications for Lesotho as a loss would see Likatola’s quest for international recognition going up in smoke.
The Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) secretary general, Litšitso Motšeremeli, said after joining both the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) and International Rugby Board (IRB) last weekend, albeit on a trial basis, the upcoming tie would decide the long-term future of domestic rugby.
“It’s a very special match for us because members of the Confederation of African Rugby will be present to assess whether we are ready to participate in international competitions.
“If we win or lose by a small margin against Swaziland, we go international next year but if we lose heavily, then we will have to wait two more years for another assessment.”
Motšeremeli however, said the players would not want to miss the opportunity to play at a much higher level by losing to Swaziland.
“The players are in great shape, although the biggest challenge we have faced is lack of proper infrastructure. For instance, we have no ground for rugby, which makes it extremely difficult for us to prepare.”
The other challenge, Motšeremeli said, was raising rugby awareness among communities.
“Some people still don’t know that we have rugby in this country and we still find it challenging to raise awareness of the sport among communities. But I plead with all Basotho to support this sport in any way possible, in order for it to grow.”
However, Motšeremeli said he hopes last week’s M400,000 injection into the sport by a local company, Lighthouse, would see rugby grow.
“We are also getting a lot of support from the Ministry of Sports and Sports Commission, and in addition to the Lighthouse sponsorship, we hop
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